... and I have to agree with him. Back in the day, having
Staroffice OpenOffice LibreOffice and Gimp and the few others was awesome, but that situation hasn't really changed. The apps have gotten better, but they are the same apps. Yup, InkScape is amazing, free and open source, but it's been around since 2003, where are the new apps? In the Mac and Windows world new great apps are popping up all the time, less often the great of course, but even a couple of new, truly great apps a year is great, and needed for a vibrant ecosystem, and the Linux desktop feels like it's just re-polishing the same set of 10 or 20 great apps (and of course all the other less great ones) every year.
I put part of the blame on the distros, as if it's not in the latest Ubuntu/Fedora/etc chances are it's not going to get the mass appeal that other apps get, plus the attention, bug reports, and polish. But still, maybe the fact that you're not charging $34 a license for your app means you don't get something high quality, like the linked FTP client for the Mac.
Anyway, that's my take on a story I haven't even linked to yet! Check out
Linux has Only 10 Great Desktop Apps linked from OSNews to the full story at PcPro.co.uk. The OSNews comments are interesting too.
The Top 6 Alternatives To The Kindle Fire, because a device that's not released yet needs alternatives (and lets be honest, the group of contenders there is more a list of "what isn't the iPad").
As a side note, hows this for the definition of "damning with faint praise":
It's hard to love the Playbook, but if you're a diehard BlackBerry addict and you like a tablet with a smooth OS and great screen, this may be the one for you. Despite Playbook's sad storyline - released too soon, email and calendaring apps that didn't work right, a wonky syncing system - it's a solid device for BlackBerry users.
"Well, this car will explode about a tenth of the time that you drive it you'll find yourself on fire, the tires will sometimes randomly deflate while on the highway, and you can't drive more than 30, but for a Canadian it's fine."
Forget foo has Battlefield 3: Comparisons between the visuals of xBox, PS3 and PC versions.
Problems with Microsoft Security Essentials and it identifying chrome as malware and nuking it from computers.
Oops, very inconvenient for the user, strangely convenient for Microsoft. Completely unintentional I'm sure.
Check Out The Full Trailer For 'The Walking Dead' Season 2 | Geeks of Doom. Sorry about the preroll ad :( Can't wait for the new season of TWD though.
Guy chokes a kid after being made fun of in Black Ops, we're ... upset is the title of this Joystiq post. Be sure you read it all, and in no way endorsed by us here at UFies.org.
Google maps has a good update where you can get a helicopter view of your driving directions (mac and windows only). Neat feature, not sure it really affects actual driving directions though, as it's still a bit abstract, but it does give a nice impression of where you're going.
Now if only they'd release a "I know how to get out of my own hometown dammit, just give me the directions from there" feature.
Very impressive video of Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs shared by my friend James over on his google+ stream.
Real-Time reports are available in the new version of Google Analytics, and administrators with Analytics accounts will get Real-Time reports. Google turned the new feature on Thursday for "a number of you," John Jersin, product manager at Google Analytics wrote on the Google Analytics blog.
It hasn't shown up on my analytics dashboard yet, has it for anyone else?
Nick Farina - Git Is Simpler Than You Think. Really nice tutorial and view of some of the innards of git, and how to understand the mechanics behind it to get around better.
Did you know the top result for "git tutorial" is this manpage on kernel.org? I will give you a gold star if you can read the whole thing without falling asleep.
So instead let's pull over, open the hood up, and poke around.
Flickr has introduced a shared photo viewing system called Flickr Photo Session as well as an Android App.
Update: Thomas Hawk has his own take, probably more realistic than the story told by the Flickr video.
Engadget has the scoop that the Amazon Kindle Fire has been revealed, and it's an Android-based, 7-inch display, $199 media consumption device.
The price is great, and based on the liveblog the prices for the whole lineup have changed:
10:53AM So, it's Fire for $199, Touch 3G for $149, Touch for $99, and Kindle for $79.
Definitely interesting, not the $99 for a sony touchpad though (now up to $499 bwahahah).
Anyway, hit the engadget link or hell, just open your browser, I'm sure the news will be all over. I estimate about 3 hours before a "full android on kindle fire" project is started and possibly finished for people not wanting to be restricted to the Amazon version of the OS.
"What do you think about her costume?" (Referring to the outfit on the left)
"Well, she's a grown up in that picture, not like in the Teen Titans cartoon, so if you're a grown up and you want to wear something like that you can. It's okay."
Good stuff. Make sure you read till the end.
Marco has some good points in his Letter to Allan Odgaard, Author Of TextMate regarding his offer of TextMate 2 being a free upgrade to TextMate 1.
Given the value that we get out of TextMate, it's already grossly underpriced. Please let us give you more money.
While I prefer to side on the 'free' side of the fence, TM is a great editor and after 2+ years of work, I would have no issues with paying full price for a new version of the editor. Hell, I think you pay less for a full new version of your Mac OS every year (ish) ($30 vs $60).
Marco had other awesome stuff to say on this week's Build and Analyze.
Awesome gentleman builds homemade flying contraption powered by eight motorcycle engines. Not much more to say than this. Thanks to my coworker JS for passing it on.
Hate to leave my Microsoft loving readers out in the dark, so here's the news that Microsoft has begun Rolling Out Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango". I'm sure that the 13 users of it will be happy to get the updates (the ones with the right phones, right carriers, and carriers who have cleared it through anyway).
Just kidding, 98% of WP7Ps will be get it, though only 10% will get to use it (artificially restricted by the slow rollout plan it seems).
Update: More info on Mango at istartedsomething.
A coworker brought this comic from The Oatmeal of A visual comparison of hammer pants VS hipsters to my attention. Not sure what he's trying to say to me though.
[I truly wish I had a picture of myself in either hammer pants or hipster garb to insert here, but sadly I'm way too cool to wear either.]
I'll assume he was simply mentioning it because The Oatmeal is awesome.
Awesome news for the Minecrack people with Androids: Minecraft: Pocket Edition on Android this week.
Minecraft's portable exclusivity on Sony's Xperia Play (aka "PlayStation Phone") comes to an end this week. Minecraft: Pocket Edition will be available on the Android Market this Thursday, September 29th.
My Android friends will be happy to see that Apple Was Denied Trademark for 'Multi-Touch' Due to Lack of 'Distinctiveness'. I have to agree, this is an obvious patent and letting them keep it would open the door up (even moreso I guess) to stupid patents for obvious things. That said, I hope that Apple isn't now bombarded by Samsung and friends for other equally stupid and obvious patents. I love Apple and all, but this suing for patent BS needs to stop from all sides.
Good stuff from Lifehacker on how Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move on the Web and How to Stop It.
Fully customized Android, $250-300, shipping second week of November, Amazon app store, etc, etc. Could be cool for sure, definitely interesting.
A coworker pointed me to the Pixel Qi display technology and lamented Amazon not utilizing this in their tablet. Pixel Qi allows switching from "normal" LCD mode to a low power, sunlight readable setup (sort of like e-ink, but not). Unfortunately while they did get an investment from 3M recently, I haven't heard of them. The tech looks awesome though, hopefully we'll see it utilized in some e-reader/tablet hybrids soon.
Speaking of movies, check out this 4 Minute Trailer for David Fincher's 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'. If you've seen the original, this one looks fairly true to the tone and story, and I think the Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara look great as the main characters.
SlashFilm has two 'Dexter' Season 6 Previews. New season starts on October 2, can't wait!
The Macromates blog has been updated with the first (I think) news about the next version of the much loved Mac text editor Textmate. What's Next says there will be a public alpha release this year, before Christmas (for registered users).
I really wonder how much of this is in response to the (apparent) slew of users dropping textmate for BBEdit and Vim as it has appeared that work on the much anticipated 2.0 (talked about as far back as 2006) was never coming and people were jumping ship to an editor that is being developed and doesn't have the danger of a) not supporting newer OSs and b) muscle memory being "wasted" on software that is EOL.
Via Shawn Blanc.
But what Microsoft are not doing is asking OEMs to prevent Secure Boot being disabled by the user: -
"...such decisions are left to the OEM. There may be good reasons why certain enterprises may not want PCs that can be configured in such a way, and there may be good reasons why an OEM or white box retailer may choose to allow that flexiblity (sic) for their customers. It's all about choice and flexibility."
Interesting. Personally I think that throwing your hands up in the air and screaming about injustice is not the thing to do right, especially since (as I understand) this whole thing started with a Redhat employee wondering out loud if the new UEFI support in Windows8 could be used to lock out Linux. Also Windows 8 supports the new (modern, and built after 1981) BIOS standard, and if this is used to lock out other OSs it'll be done by OEMs, not Microsoft. Still to get the Windows 8 hardware certification OEMs do have to use this (as I understand it). I recommend listening to this week's Windows Weekly where Paul Thurrott addresses some of this (somewhere around the 28:22 minute mark).
Benwerd has thoughts on the new Facebook Timeline feature: The Facebook Timeline is the nearest thing I've seen to a digital identity (and it's creepy as hell).
I have to agree with Jeff Jarvis on the last This Week in Google (link) as to the "what is 'creepy'?" question, but that's another thing. If you're interested you can turn on the facebook timeline right now. Note that if you do turn it on it looks like it replaces (or at least augments) your profile page with the timeline (or something like that).
Looks like the Amazon Tablet Announcement is Expected next week. It'll be interesting to see what it looks like and if there's a reason to buy this vs another Android or iPad tablet.
I'm happy to hear that new software with new features are coming out, and the fact that Flash Player 11, and AIR 3 are due next month definitely falls into this category. A new flash player though.... I'm finding it hard to get excited about, same as Adobe AIR. Better is good, but isn't the world trying to get as far away from Flash as it can (or shouldn't it be)?
Nice to see that they'll have full 32 and 64bit support on Linux, which is nice. Other features are basically performance, full HD video at full frame rates, 2D and 3D acceleration, and more. I'm going to bet it still turns my laptop into molten metal when viewing a video on youtube though....
Up and coming task management software Wunderlist is now available for linux! Kudos to the guys at Wunderkinder for supporting almost every platform under the sun (Web, Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, Android and now Linux (64 and 32 bit)). The only platform they don't currently have a version for is Windows Phone 7 phones, but I expect that either there's no demand or they are working on a version.
I have to say I'm impressed and happy to see this, honestly. I wonder how much of the Linux port had to do with the Android port?
Update: Forgot to mention that Wunderlist also includes full cloud sync as well, all for free.
The Facebook Blog has the details on new features they've just rolled out to the main newsfeed. Interesting News, Any Time You Visit.
Users (at least in my social circle) have reacted as expected (and rightly so) and are complaining about massive changes, no opt out, and (my theory at least) that they expect this to somehow be slanted towards advertisers and not users in terms of "usability".
That all said, the new features are a "top stories" feature which keeps some stories at the top of your feed, and a (IMHO quite cool) feature that shows real time activity with Google+-like inline viewing and commenting. Probably some other stuff too, but if you're a facebook user you'll probably see a news alert in the next few hours or days depending on the rollout.
However, this is a free service that users are choosing to use, and if you really hate it that much, just leave the service and move over to .... uhm.... oh right, never mind.
Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1, available through the Mac App Store right now, brings Xsan integration for distributed remote collaborative editing; XML support, which will allow project and event info to be imported and exported to external programs; and simplified export of audio, video and graphics with a new "Roles" feature. Other new additions include GPU-accelerated exports and full-screen mode for OS X Lion users, among others.
I'm sure the film geeks will still bitch, but it's nice to see that Apple is listening to it's pro users (or at least seems to be).
Counteracting the Instagram release, Google has released a whack of new features for Google+ for Android. The announcement on the Official Google Blog details a long list.... mobile hangouts (read: facetime for Android), search (finally!), and hangouts "in the air" (lets you speak to an audience and record it).
All totally cool, can't wait to see if Apple approves the iOS version of the app now :)
Instagram, the the photography posterboy app for iOS (or at least one of them) released version 2.0 with live effects, a revamped camera interface, ability to save high resolution images, and more.
Google is Launching Google Wallet on Sprint and Working with Visa, American Express and Discover. Big questions are of course a) critical mass and b) support outside of the US.
Still, if it catches on, yay, the future is here! :)
Showing I'm not a completely blind apple-fanboy, looks like this is a big oversight from Apple: Lion permissions oversight lets non-admin user to change other account passwords.
So after reading this (and watching the video), you can tell by the title: Foo Fighters Respond To Westboro Baptist Church Protests By Playing Show For Picketers that Foo Fighters should be given as much support as possible.
Also, fuck the god hates fags people.
Great set of images of Skydivers over on the Flickr Blog this week. I particularly love the last one and the user of what I assume is a flash attached to his foot :)
OMG Ubuntu has a nice list of the Recent Unity Updates upcoming in the October 11.10 Ubuntu Linux release.
Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of netflix, posted a letter on the netflix blog called An Explanation and Some Reflections regarding the whole streaming / DVD split mess that they've been dealing with over the last few months.
It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. I'll try to explain how this happened. [...]
Hit the link for the full story.
Very cool Shot-By-Shot Deconstruction Of The Chase Sequence From 'The Dark Knight' done by a filmmaker with a great knowledge of visual design for film and editing.
Sony to ban gamers from PSN unless they waive right sue over security breaches. [hackernews story] Much easier than just fixing their security issues I have to say. As noted in the comments you can send them a letter that will exempt you from the waiver.
I really can't wait until the iPhone 5 (or whatever it's called) is announced not because I'm going to buy one immediately (my iPhone 4 is fine and my bank account is dwindling), but so I can finally stop hearing about the iPhone 5! Seriously, even as a fan boy I'm getting sick of the Apple echo-chamber of non-news-news. For example, the New York Times says this: iPhone 5 announcement 'just weeks away'
According to Nick Bilton at the New York Times, an unnamed Apple employee has confirmed to him that the next-gen iPhone announcement is "just weeks away."
To which I say, "no shit." Weeks of course could be 1 or 100 (though the kerfuffle of rumors keeps on pointing to early October) and like the TUAW people, I'm getting a bit burnt out as well. Of course, at this point is when the really crazy rumors start, and people start to wonder "what if it's being delayed because they're working on a neural implant interface with blowjob attachment?!" and the fake specs and reports of delayed supplies from the blowjob attachment suppliers insiders start coming (so to speak).
Sorry it's Friday, I've had a heck of a week and am getting a bit punchy :)
My buddy and ex-coworker @halkeye pointed out that you can Get Portal free on Steam until Sept. 20. Portal is one of the best games ever (IMHO) and as I've been hear to say, "free is free". Other than having to create an evil, soul sucking and obviously tool-of-the-devil Steam account, there's really no downside.
Story over at OSNews: Microsoft Abandons Flash, Silverlight in Windows 8. I don't see any reference to silverlight in the story itself, mind you, just the headline.
And now this. This is Microsoft kicking Flash to the curb. The world's most popular operating system will not be receptive to Flash, and Microsoft openly stating Flash is history pretty much means that as a platform for the web, it's done. Flash may still serve a purpose in other ways, but the Flash most of us know and hate - that's gone.
Personally I'm not sad at all, flash is great for little clicky games, but overall makes my browsing experience slower, my laptop hotter with less battery life, and I hope it goes away quickly. Sorry adobe.
I Want This Fountain In My House. I can't disagree Forever Geek, I can't disagree.
Great 10 minute video of iPad 2 running iOS 5 vs Windows 8 Slate which goes into pretty deep depth on features and details. Of course both are in beta, though iOS is less beta than Windows 8 at this point.
Just a bit of site housekeeping... I discovered you can get a free (but legit) SSL certificate from StartSSL, so I installed one on the server for the webmail. If you're a UFies.org webmail user, you may be prompted that the server certificate has changed, but you'll see it's no longer a self-signed certificate.
Please email me if you see anything odd about it.
We now return you to your list of random links and fun for the day.
Shacknews has the Max Payne 3 trailer. Looks good, though I really wonder how it's going to differentiate itself from all the other similar games out there.
If you're one of the lucky few who got an HP Touchpad for $99 (or the unlucky even-fewer who paid $499) and want to do something different with it, here are some step-by-step instructions (not for the non-geek) on How To Install Ubuntu On Your HP Touchpad.
Update: Here's the Team Fusion blog post with more details and pretty screenshots.
IStartedSomething has an interesting take on iPad iOS 5 & Android Honeycomb: opportunities for Windows 8. Some of the points where they say that Windows 8 has the opportunity to make some inroads (italics are my commentary):
[...] Live tiles can offer snippets of contextual information in a consistent format that can be updated without actually launching the application. Developers can also differentiate similar applications by exposing better live tiles.
[...] Having an operating system on a single device that can cater to the best of both worlds independently means you only need one device instead of two to do both tablet computing and traditional PC computing.
To me this is completely missing the point of what a) made the iPad such a hit and b) what made previous tablet computer endeavors (case in point is the UMPC from Microsoft) fall flat, or at least sell barely anything compared to the current "tablet designed OS" tablets.
[...] Only recently has Apple started building social integration into its core platform with iOS 5′s native Twitter functionality.
True, but when Windows 8 debuts it will have been in iOS for as long as it'll have been in Windows 8, and iPad will be on version 3 (presumably) compared to Windows 8 version 1.
[...] One of the weakest aspects of the iOS is the ability to interface with other standard devices and external storage which has encouraged a diverse range of Apple-exclusive accessories. One such accessory, the iPad Camera Connection Kit should be a feature built into every device to make managing simple tasks like browsing and sharing photos much more accessible. I'm confident Windows 8 devices will have built-in SD card readers and the ability to manipulate content on them.
Have to agree here, especially that the camera connection kit should be built in, or at least included and not a $30 extra.
Assuming one can also simply plug in any USB keyboard and mouse to a Windows 8 slate, it will be a powerful capability to have a simple touch experience on the go and a productive typing experience at the desk with the same device and operating system.
Yes this is true, however Windows 8 has shown it's dedication to the "no compromise" UI that basically includes everything, and I think you can pretty easily argue that if you include everything you get something that isn't nearly as useful as a dedicated device. The iPad doesn't have 5 USB ports on it, and HDMI plug and 15 other ports stuck off the side of it, a file browser built in, and 3 different desktop modes, but that's because it's dedicated to doing one thing really well, and it's UI and form factor reflect that. Yes, sometimes it's a bit spartan and it would be nice to just plug in an SD card, but people with devices like this are ok with making that compromise.
That and my apple fanboy-ism aside, there are definitely places where a Windows 8 tablet can take on the iPad and Android Tablet market, and it'll be good to have a third player in the market segment. I just don't think that the direction they're taking with putting everything in one basket will have any better success (even with the new UI) than with their previous windows based tablet attempts.
Very cool, an award winning video editor 'Lightworks' To Land On Linux In December.
This is my next has a Windows 8 hands-on preview of the developer build from the BUILD conference. Some interesting stuff in the video for sure. The touch UI looks neat, but as someone who has a Windows 7 touch based computer on the wall at work, touch computing on a "normal" computer SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS.
I love Gruber's take on it. He knows how to cut to the chase for sure ;)
In a shocking turn of events, it turns out that the FTC says the AcneApp won't work to cute acne. That said, anyone who paid for it deserves to lose the $0.99 (or whatever it was) for believing that putting your iPhone on your acne for a few minutes a day will cure it.
Someone over on Google+ pointed me to this long list of tech jokes, none of which I have anything to do with.
[...] @spikelynch The problem with mutex jokes is that they're race-ist. #protolol @OhMeadhbh: the SYN flood attack #protolol: "knock knock. who's there? knock knock. who's there? knock knock. who's there? ..." @toastido ASCII jokes need no ANSI. #protolol @yoshicool NTP jokes are always on time #protolol @RichGibson Everyone gets snmp jokes but only some people understand them #protolol [... etc ... ]
If you're not geeky though, you can skip this post completely :)
Yea, I know it's late, but I'm way backlogged in my RSS. Google put out a nice third birthday post for Chrome and has a nice look at the evolution of web browsers.
Interesting piece over on DF called The New Apple Advantage where shopping for a MacBook Air-like windows computer is looked at. Probably not reading for Apple haters, but interesting nonetheless. I don't agree with everything in there, while I like the idea of choice, the idea of "too much" choice is a pain in the ass (anyone who's gone through the KDE 3.x settings dialogs will see this), but too few choice (ie: the Apple way where you get one computer per "market segment" and only one) is also a PITA. A good read to remind us (the geeks who go out and buy their computers in multiple little brown boxes and put them together on our desks at home) how the other half lives and has to deal with things.
Aryk pointed me to the lifehacker article on Smozzy which claims to let you browse the web without a data plan. You do however, need an SMS and MMS plan though, and as the article says, it's not something for serious surfing, but will work for a quick check of the weather or something similar.
Adobe Carousel seems like a really interesting product, except for the (monthly subscription) price. If my quick read is correct, it lets you view and edit your images from your lightroom library from any iOS device.
Unsurprisingly there's differences in what people believe in terms who believes about climate change.
Holy cow. This is a straightforward factual question, and the correct answer is something in the neighborhood of 98%.1 But even among Democrats, only 42% think that most climate scientists believe global warming is happening. It's even worse among the other groups.
It wouldn't be so bad if America wasn't so polarized politically, and so influential in the world.
Kudos again to Gruber.
As Gruber says, the 10 Reasons Why iPhone 5 Doesn't Stand a Chance Against Motorola Droid Bionic article is link-bait, for a multitude of reasons. Yes, obviously the iPhone is horribly unpopular because of it's lack of flash, HDMI, and expansion card slots. Those things have drastically reduced it's popularity.
Oh, wait, it's not :P
Lets also not ignore the fact that the iPhone 5 is only rumored at this point and no one outside of apple knows what it'll actually be or have.
Like Gruber said, link-bait.
Both a completely awesome and useless programming project: kernel rickrolling.
Kudos to Shawn Blanc for pointing out ifttt (if this then that), a pretty cool website service that simplifies some pretty complex interactions. It's hard to explain so hit the previous link, or check out their blog for more information about the beginnings as well.
Credit this morning goes to my boss, John, for pointing me to NiceKicks.com with a story about some shoes that Nike is apparently going to be announcing today. Normally I'd say "you realize I don't care about shoes right? Mine have holes in them [sadly this is a literal and not figurative statement] and you can tell by the rest of my appearance day to day that I can't care less about fashion."
However he then pointed me to the link.
"Welcome to Los Angeles. If my calculations are correct, over the next 24 hours you are about to see some SERIOUS SH*T!"
The images and contents of the box that the reporter got indicate that Nike may be announcing a "back to the future" shoe of some sort, either in throwback style or (pleasepleaseplease) the self-tying shoes from the movie.
Other resources is the gizmodo story.